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Words in Time and Place: Exploring Language Through the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary

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Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases

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Book Information

   

Title: Why Agree? Why Move?
Subtitle: Unifying Agreement-Based and Discourse Configurational Languages
Written By: Shigeru Miyagawa
URL: http://mitpress.mit.edu/9780262513555
Series Title: Linguistic Inquiry Monograph
Description:

An unusual property of human language is the existence of movement
operations. Modern syntactic theory from its inception has dealt with the
puzzle of why movement should occur. In this monograph, Shigeru Miyagawa
combines this question with another, that of the occurrence of agreement
systems. Using data from a wide range of languages, he argues that movement
and agreement work in tandem to achieve a specific goal: to imbue natural
language with enormous expressive power. Without movement and agreement, he
contends, human language would be merely a shadow of itself, with severe
limitation on what can be expressed.

Miyagawa investigates a variety of languages, including English, Japanese,
Bantu languages, Romance languages, Finnish, and Chinese. He finds that
every language manifests some kind of agreement, some in the form of the
familiar person/number/gender system and others in the form of what Katalin
É. Kiss calls "discourse configurational" features such as topic and focus.
A key proposal of his argument is that the computational system in syntax
deals with the wide range of agreement types uniformly-- as if there were
just one system-- and an integral part of this computation turns out to be
movement. Why Agree? Why Move? is unique in proposing a unified system for
movement and agreement across language groups that are vastly diverse--
Bantu languages, East Asian languages, Indo-European languages, and others.

Publication Year: 2009
Publisher: MIT Press
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories
Morphology
Syntax
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Versions:
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0262013614
ISBN-13: 9780262013611
Pages: 200
Prices: U.S. $ 50.00

 
 
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0262513552
ISBN-13: 9780262513555
Pages: 200
Prices: U.S. $ 25.00